New way to Market for Manufacturing

Written By: Bruce McDuffee-Founder and Executive Director of Manufacturing Marketing Institute (MMI)

Chapter 16 Overview

Learn to Talk the C-Suite Talk

“According to a study performed by Fournaise Marketing Group in July 2012, 80 percent of CEOs do not trust marketers and are not impressed by the work done by marketers. In comparison, 91 percent of CEOs do trust their CIOs and CFOs. Ouch! The number one reason given for not trusting marketers is the marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of the company.

There are two major contributing factors at play. One factor is the C-suite does not understand marketing beyond being on the receiving end of advertising. Only about one in five CEOs has a background in marketing. The leaders who occupy the seats at the leadership table such as the CFO, COO, and CIO rarely have background or education in marketing. In many cases, their marketing acumen boils down to how they, as human beings, perceive the marketing they are exposed to. Sadly, in many cases, they like what they like based on their own socialization not because of any practical or analytical reasons.

The second contributing factor is marketers themselves and how they present themselves to the leadership and the organization. As marketers, it is our collective fault that most CEOs of manufacturing firms do not understand marketing. If your CEO is a good leader, then he is usually fair and a good listener. He listens to what his head marketer tells him and draws conclusions about how the marketing function contributes to the organization. If we, as manufacturing marketers, talk about click-through rates, open rates, downloads, likes, etc., we will not gain respect much less a seat at the leadership table. The language of the C-suite is about moving product, top line, and bottom line.

Use the data from your pilot program to talk about how marketing has contributed to the sales pipeline. Do not, under any circumstances talk about marketing metrics. That is not to say they are not important metrics because they are important, but only to marketers. I guarantee if you tell your CEO that you have 70,000 likes on your company Facebook page, he will dismiss that information immediately. However, if you tell him that marketing campaigns contributed to 35 percent of the new sales opportunities in the pipeline this month, he will take notice and may engage in further conversation.

C-Suite Language
Net Contribution
Marketing Contribution to New Opportunities
Marketing Contribution to Closed/Won Opportunities
Revenue per marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Number of MQL’s